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Author Topic: Do bees use Abelia??  (Read 1800 times)
wharfrat
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« on: June 24, 2009, 08:20:49 AM »

Hi, Abelia shrubs are used heavily for landscaping here in Richmond. Shopping malls....highway center strips....
They have loads of blooms and I think they bloom most of the summer...
I stopped and looked at some smaller specimens at the local Target the other day, but only saw a bumblebee..

Anyone know if they produce much nectar for our babies??

Thanks!
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wharfrat
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2009, 03:41:14 PM »

Took the dogs on a walk today, and I saw a few of my girls on a patch of abelia about a half mile from my house....looked like they were getting nectar and not collecting pollen... I like it!!  Maybe the rainy spring will result in a big abelia flow!! I've never seen my bees so motivated.. still searching for a report on Abelia honey.

Take it easy...
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Ross
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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2009, 08:04:43 PM »

http://www.ibra.org.uk/articles/20080611_35
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wharfrat
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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2009, 08:32:59 PM »

Yep...thanks Ralph..I saw that plus a few other links with a web search...still wondering if anyone has more personal experience...or even if someone has had honey that they think was largely Abelia..I'm hoping it's a winner!
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tillie
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Bee in N Georgia on a Blackberry flower


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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2009, 10:01:19 PM »

I have a large Abelia right outside my kitchen door.  It has so much nectar that in the early morning it drips like rain onto my kitchen steps.

I asked our palynologist about it when he visited our bee club.  Dr. Arnold said that honeybees can't get nectar from Abelia directly - like the bumblebee does.  The bumblebee dives headfirst into the abelia and sucks the nectar but it is also hard for the bumblebee to do this.  So often the Bumblebee slits the flower near the base to have more convenient access to the nectar.

At our bee meeting Dr. Arnold suggested that Abelia had an extrafloral nectary but upon research and a later email from him, it turns out that it is the slit that is being used, not an extrafloral nectary.

You may see honeybees hanging onto the base of an abelia blossom, getting nectar sideways, as it were.  But because it isn't easy for them to get the Abelia nectar, it will not be a dominant pollen or nectar in your honey.

http://beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com/2008/06/honeybee-botany-and-dr-paul-arnold.html

Linda T in Atlanta
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wharfrat
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2009, 10:08:44 PM »

Tillie....all I can say is WOW!!!!
Awesome photos and explanation on your Blog.
You are the best!

 grin grin
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wharfrat
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2009, 10:23:15 PM »

I have a large Abelia right outside my kitchen door.  It has so much nectar that in the early morning it drips like rain onto my kitchen steps.

Interesting that you specifically say that it drips like rain in the early morning....as mentioned in another post, I have been shocked this week at how early my girls are getting up and the activity level has really ratcheted up a couple of notches...

Perhaps conditions are just right this year that my bees have figured out a way to make this a major type of flow this week...???Early bee gets the Abelia...?
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